Washington Area Women’s Foundation invests in bold, women-led community-based solutions that promote the security, safety, and opportunity for women who are often overlooked — women like Jane*, a 19 year old mother who fled Mexico to Maryland.
The Women’s Foundation is singularly positioned with a deep understanding of the barriers women and girls of color face in the DMV-region and the opportunities to lift them up by fighting for justice and strengthening cross-cultural alliances.
But we can’t do this without you. Your support fuels the power of these movements.
In 2020 alone, Washington Area Women’s Foundation programs and grants benefited more than 90,000 women, girls, and children throughout the region.
We connect and convene gender and racial justice experts for issues facing the DMV-area and trust these community partners to know best — like Tahirih, an organization that serves immigrant survivors fleeing gender-based violence. If not for The Women’s Foundation’s funding, organizations like Tahirih and women like Jane* would have been left out of local emergency response funding:
Jane* arrived as a 19-year-old mother from Mexico. At age 13, her mother forced her into a domestic partnership where she experienced domestic violence. She fled to the US with her child, but not before the traffickers who smuggled her into the U.S. imprisoned her and her son, forcing them both to perform domestic work and prostituted her against her will.
She found an opportunity to escape with her son to Maryland where Tahirih accepted her case. The team pursued visas and defensive asylum so that Jane could find some relief. Through her Tahirih social worker, Jane pursued therapy, ESL classes, and TVAP benefits (provided to human trafficking survivors) to help stabilize her basic needs.
During the trial, she spoke about what she had suffered and her hopes for safety. After a grueling trial, the judge granted asylum. However, Jane again became a victim of domestic violence in the US. But this time, as soon as the violence erupted, she was determined to break the cycle and hold him accountable. With the assistance of her Tahirih social worker, Jane reported the crime and filed for a protection order, which she later won.
For Jane, coming to Maryland did not prevent her from further victimization. The difference was that in the U.S., through Washington Area Women’s Foundation’s grantee partner, Tahirih Justice Center, Jane gained the tools to leverage the legal system to protect herself.
Our work advancing gender, racial, and economic justice is far from over — as 16.6% of women in the District of Columbia live in poverty, compared to the national figure of 12%. We know strengthening the communities closest to the challenges these women face is the best way to solve them.
Thank you for continuing to join us in making a life changing difference for the women and girls we serve so they are not forgotten.
|Interim President and CEO|
Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Chief Communications Officer and Vice President-Corporate Affairs at Graham Holdings Company
If you would like to make a gift of stock, please reach out to Sarena Barnes at 202.618.3221 and she will be happy to help coordinate this!